Which are the most profitable companies in Romania?
Fifteen companies reported net profits of over EUR 100 million in Romania in 2021. Moreover, 12 of these 15 companies recorded strong profit growth compared with the previous year, ranging from 14% to 108%. This analysis shows which are the most profitable companies in Romania, who owns them and in what sectors they operate.
The top 15 most profitable companies in Romania recorded combined profits of EUR 3.7 bln in 2021, up 31% compared with the previous year, according to data from the Finance Ministry.
The combined turnover of these 15 companies also went up by 29% year-on-year to EUR 28.7 bln. As a result, their overall net profit margin reached 14%.
The most profitable 15 companies in Romania accounted for almost 9% of the total net profits recorded by all the companies in the country in 2021, which was little over RON 200 billion (EUR 41 bln), according to data from the Trade Registry’s Office quoted by Ziarul Financiar.
Of the 15 companies in this ranking, three are controlled by the Romanian state, two are owned by Romanian investors, and ten are part of foreign groups.
Five of the most profitable companies in the ranking (including the top three) operate in the energy sector, four of them are industrial producers, and three of them are from the retail sector.
The top 15 most profitable companies in Romania are:
1. Hidroelectrica is a state-controlled electricity producer – the biggest in Romania. The company benefitted from increased energy prices in 2021 and doubled its net profit to EUR 614 mln as its turnover increased by 65%. Its profit margin came close to 50%. Hidroelectrica is preparing for a listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and, possibly, an international market. Minority shareholder Fondul Proprietatea is looking to sell up to 20% of the company’s shares in the initial public offering (IPO), which could take place in the first half of 2023.
2. OMV Petrom is the biggest oil and gas company in Romania. It also gained from the rise in oil and gas prices as it is an integrated company with extraction, refining and distribution activities. The company is 51%-owned by the Austrian group OMV and the Romanian state owns 20.6% of its shares. OMV Petrom’s shares are trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with the ticket SNP.
3. Romgaz is the state-controlled gas company in Romania. It covers little over half of Romania’s gas production, with the rest mainly coming from OMV Petrom. This year, Romgaz took over a 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas project in the Black Sea from US group ExxonMobil. Romgaz’s shares are also trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange under the ticker SNG.
4. Dedeman is the biggest do-it-yourself retailer in Romania with a network almost 60 large format stores. The company was founded by local entrepreneurs Dragos and Adrian Paval in 1992. The two brothers still control the company through their investment vehicle Paval Holding.
5. Liberty Galati is the biggest steel producer in Romania. The company doubled its turnover in 2021 and swung from loss to profit helped by the increased demand for raw materials. Liberty Galati is part of the GFG Alliance, controlled by Sanjeev Gupta, who took over the Romanian plant from ArcelorMittal in 2018.
6. Paval Holding is the holding company of Dragos and Adrian Paval through which they control Dedeman and carry out other investments financed with the dividends they get from the DIY retailer. In 2021, Paval Holding recorded a net profit of EUR 254 mln, the money coming from dividends and the revaluation of portfolio holdings. In 2020, Paval Holding was the most profitable company in Romania due to the revaluation of its majority stake in Dedeman.
7. Nuclearelectrica is a state-controlled energy company that operates Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant. Similarly to Hidroelectrica, the company profited from the rising energy prices in 2021. Nuclearelectrica is also coordinating the project for developing new nuclear reactors in Romania with American partners. Nuclearelectrica’s shares are trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with the ticker SNN.
8. Kaufland Romania is a discount hypermarket chain that is part of the German Schwarz Group. Kaufland has a network of 155 discount hypermarkets in Romania and was the biggest retailer in Romania by turnover until 2019.
9. J.T. International is the local distribution arm of tobacco manufacturer Japan Tobacco International. It is only the third-biggest player in the local tobacco market in terms of turnover but boasts the biggest profit margin.
10. Lidl Discount is a German discount supermarket chain that is part of the Schwarz Group together with Kaufland. In 2020, Lidl surpassed Kaufland as the biggest retailer in Romania based on turnover. In 2021, Lidl’s turnover went up by almost 16% but its net profit declined by 3%.
11. HS Timber Productions is the local subsidiary of the Austrian HS Timber Group (Holzindustries Schweighoffer). The company is the biggest timber processor in Romania, with four production units in the country. While the group boasts with investments of over EUR 815 million in the country and almost 3,500 jobs created, it has been criticized for playing a big role in the deforestation of large areas in Romania.
12. Orange Romania is the biggest telecom operator in Romania and a subsidiary of French group Orange. Orange consolidated its leading position in the country by taking over the fixed communication assets of the German group Telekom in 2021.
13. Continental Automotive Products is the biggest company owned by the German automotive producer Continental in Romania and operates a tire factory in Timisoara – the biggest in the country. Continental has other subsidiaries in Romania through which it operates several other factories that produce car components.
14. OMV Petrom Marketing is the company that operates OMV Petrom’s fuel distribution network, which includes almost 800 fuel stations in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia. The fuel stations operate under the Petrom and OMV brands.
15. Automobile Dacia is the biggest car producer in Romania, part of the French group Renault. Established in 1966, the company was privatized in 1999. Renault turned Dacia into an international brand, one of the biggest producers of budget cars in Europe.